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The mentalizing approach to psychopathology: State of the art and future directions

Luyten, P; Campbell, C; Allison, E; Fonagy, P; (2020) The mentalizing approach to psychopathology: State of the art and future directions. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology , 16 10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-071919-015355. (In press).

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Abstract

Mentalizing is the capacity to understand others and oneself in terms of internal mental states. It is assumed to be underpinned by four dimensions: automatic–controlled, internally–externally focused, self–other, and cognitive–affective. Research suggests that mental disorders are associated with different imbalances in these dimensions. Addressing the quality of mentalizing as part of psychosocial treatments may be helpful for individuals with various mental disorders. We suggest that mentalizing is a helpful transtheoretical and transdiagnostic concept explaining vulnerability to psychopathology and its treatment. This review summarizes the mentalizing approach to psychopathology from a developmental socioecological evolutionary perspective. We then focus on the application of the mentalizing approach to personality disorders, and review studies that have extended this approach to other types of psychopathology, including depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. We summarize core principles of mentalization-based treatments and preventive interventions, and the evidence for their effectiveness. We conclude with recommendations for future research.

Type: Article
Title: The mentalizing approach to psychopathology: State of the art and future directions
DOI: 10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-071919-015355
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-071919-015...
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: mentalizing, reflective functioning, attachment, mental health treatment, personality disorder, psychological treatments
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10083780
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